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ZAMBIA has descended into a dangerous abyss of fake news and extreme temerity.

Nothing is sacrosanct, not the truth, not moral conscience and least of all the consideration that the Head of State, President Edgar Lungu deserves honour and respect.

Opposition leaders are pre-occupied with dreaming up new demeaning epithets to direct at the President. It has become a serious addiction.

Strangely, Zambians have developed a voracious appetite for fake news, the bizarre and outright fabrication for as long as they demean the leadership.

It is not surprising that the acrid torment of expelled Patriotic Front misfits, find time and space to broadcast the barrage of invectives.

The most proficient in this regard are those with meaningless doctorates, bought from dubious or non-existent institutions.

But should Zambians accept this as normal behaviour? Definitely not.

There is no culture that accepts calumny, especially that directed at authority. Even the Bible does emphasise on the need to respect those in authority.

The first step to a destined future in a democracy, is for the opposition to differentiate between offering checks and spewing vacuous diatribe, passing for debate.

It is disappointing that instead of constructive engagement, our opposition is preoccupied with bitterness, pettiness and demeaning foul language.

This is far from offering checks and balances on government.

In any functioning democracy, the opposition should operate with decorum and accepted norms of conduct.

It cannot be and has never been the norm to drag the President’s name in the mud with impunity all in the name of offering checks and balances.

What is clear is that the opposition has lost direction and relevance, they are supposed to represent the plight of the electorates than promote discord and unseemly language.

What the Zambian people need is decent shelter, hospitals, schools, clean drinking water, good roads and of course more money in their pockets among others.

And in as much as the current government has done well in ensuring that these necessities are made available, a vibrant opposition can lobby for equitable distribution of resources.

A good opposition can ensure that these services are brought even closer to the people, and also ensure sustained provision of social and economic services.

Those are the checks and balances that former Lusaka Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta, who was recently acquitted of his aggravated robbery case, is talking about.

Mr Mwaliteta says “I will talk and criticise the government responsibly but I will never insult Edgar Lungu because right now he is the republican President.”

No one is asking the opposition to be silent, but we are just saying that the President should be respected at all times even in our quest to fight for a better livelihood.

Insulting the President can never make any politician gain mileage in the eyes of a peace loving citizenry, actually, it is them that lose. A foul mouth gains no respect. Such conduct diminishes the little respect that ordinary people have for them.

Mr Mwaliteta, who is a member of the UPND has made a wise choice, he has seen the light and that is what Zambians expect from a vibrant opposition.

“I am a Zambian and I will have to speak because it’s my right…At least I will not insult the President, Edgar Lungu,” he said.

We talk about a destined future, because the opposition can help Government identify the immediate needs of the vulnerable people.

What should be of utmost importance to all political players at this time is the plight of the Zambian people to whom they owe their political careers.

As Mr Mwaliteta has acknowledged, there is a sitting President in Zambia and everyone expects the campaign promises to be delivered.

Let him do his job without distractions of foul-mouthed politicians behaving like the under-five children who shout loudest just to be heard.

Time for politicking is long gone, so we expect the opposition to start offering constructive checks and balances on the government, not insults.

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